From the WWE Network: Demolition

Demolition tangle with the top teams of their day as we see their destructive run in 1988 and ’89!

We open with a brief music video set to Demolition’s theme. This is only notable due to a creepy moment where they green screen the clips into Smash’s vacant mask eye holes. 

WWF World tag team champions Rick Martel and Tito Santana vs. Demolition 

This is from Wrestlemania 4. After Demolition come down with their menacing music and black leather outfits, Strike Force come out by bouncing to the ring to “Girls in Cars”. This makes them seem so lame we should just call them the Dynamic Dudes. 

Does Ax’s slicked back hair fit his gimmick? Demolition use brute force to down both Martel and Santana. The faces make a hot comeback, but the crowd is dead. At this point in the show I believe they were approaching over 3 hours of matches, most of which were bad.

Demolition pounds away on Santana in their corner. Santana gets dominated for several minutes, with Ax and Smash keeping Santana trapped and battered.  They tease Santana making the hot tag several times, but it finally takes a flying forearm from Santana to buy him enough time to make the tag. 

Martel is a house of fire, but the crowd gives him no love. Martel quickly ensnares Smash in a Boston Crab. Ax is blasted with another flying forearm from Chico. Santana then attacks Mr. Fuji on the ring apron. This allows Ax to sneak in the ring with Fuji’s cane and KO Martel. Santana keeps attacking Fuji, remaining oblivious to the situation going on behind him. The ref is bumped right next to Smash, who covering Martel. A delayed count doesn’t stop Demolition from winning their first gold. 

Absolutely nothing wrong with this one as the guys worked the formula well, they just didn’t have the crowd to play ball with their efforts. 

WWF World tag team champions Demolition vs. The Hart Foundation

This is from Summerslam ’88.  The Harts get the jobber entrance. Did they not have music at this point? I don’t recall off hand. 

Hart uses his speed to upend Ax. Smash doesn’t fair much better. The Anvil tosses Smash around until he gets caught with a cheap shot. Demolition wear on him briefly before the Hitman tags back in. 

Hart is driven shoulder first into the steel corner post, setting up the next several minutes of Demolition grinding away at his limb. This builds to a false tag spot, which the MSG crowd responds to much better than in our last match. 

The Hitman finally catches Smash with a boot and manages to make the tag. The Anvil comes in as a house of fire and blasts both Demolition from the ring! The crowd pops big for that.  Bret then sling shots the Anvil over the top rope and down onto Smash. Lucha Neidhart! The crowd is buzzing as they can sense a title change….

Anvil drops Smash with a powerslam for a nearfall the crowd totally buys. All four men brawl. Fuji gets on the ropes and eats a big blow from the Anvil. The crowd loves that. But Fuji then eats 3 or 4 more without going down. That kind of ruins the fun. 

While the Anvil is busy with Fuji, Ax knocks the Hitman out with Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and steals the pin.  Well, they had the crowd in the palm of their hands, so you really can’t offer any critique to this battle. 

Survivor Series ’88 Tag team highlights:

We see a good chunk of the finish as the Bulldogs and Powers of Pain tangle with the Conquistadors and Demolition. Jesse the Body and Gorilla Monsoon make a big deal about the Conquistadors still being in it to the point that you would assume they were going to unmask as a surprise team or something. 

The Bulldogs go out. Fuji, with his team in control climbs on the ring apron. Smash is tossed at the ropes as Fuji spreads them, sending Smash to the floor. Demolition is counted out.

Ax confronts Fuji who screams “I’m the boss!” He cracks Ax with his cane until Smash stops him. Ax slams Fuji on the cement. The champs walk off defiantly. The Powers of Pain walk over and help Fuji up. 

Fuji trips one of the Conquistadors with his cane, allowing the Powers of Pain to snag the win soon after. They then carry Fuji around the ring. The live crowd seems to take this as a Fuji face turn. Demolition run in and send the PoP fleeing. The champs then pose to the confused crowd.

This whole double turn still makes very little sense as Fuji gave up on managing the world champs.  I am really not sure if the WWF fleshed out a real reason over the next few months or not. 

WWF World tag team champions Demolition vs. The Bolsheviks 

This was taped a full month before the babyface turn for Demolition. The live crowd is thus not exactly ecstatic about the match. They lightly root for Demolition for simply jingoistic reasons. 

The action is not enthralling as all four men are pretty much punchy-kicky workers, and the Bolsheviks had been jabronis for long enough at this point that having them get heat on Demolition doesn’t feel legit. 

After lots of clubbering, Boris eats the pin and we can move along with our lives.  Next please. 

WWF World tag team champions Demolition vs. The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine 

Bobby Heenan is gold early here on commentary as he suggests Demolition wear face paint because they are ugly. It’s all in the delivery. Heenan also throws in some good commentary on how Honky’s speed advantage might be the key to the heel’s success. 

Valentine hangs tough with Smash as they trade blows. Valentine downs him and goes for a figure-four leglock. Smash avoids that with ease.

Honky tags in and finds himself at Demolition’s mercy. Honky sells and begs off for a bit. The heels get it together and start making quick tags, allowing them to work Ax over in the corner.

Things break down as all four men brawl. The original ref is bumped. Ref Ronnie Garvin comes in from the back and tries to restore order. Honky uses the megaphone and earns his squad the DQ. The crowd was hot and the match was fine. Nothing much else to comment on here. 

WWF World tag team champions Demolition vs. Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson

This is from “Saturday Night’s Main Event”. Demolition hammer at Tully early on. Arn doesn’t fair much better. The heels use cheap shots to briefly gain control. Anderson hits a suplex on Smash, then celebrates. This allows Smash to pop up behind him. Demolition then attack both heels at once, as Arn and Tully stooge for the champs. 

Blanchard is dumped right on top on Heenan, who rages out and has to be restrained. Demolition keep destroying Blanchard, mocking Heenan along the way.  Anderson scores a cheap shot to finally turn the tide to the heels. Smash is battered as Blanchard struts and mocks Ax. 

Arn and Tully know all the tricks to cheap heat and cutting off the ring, so they run through their playbook, using Smash as a beefier Ricky Morton. After several minutes of that, Ax charges the ring and a four-way brawl ensues. Ax flat out tosses the ref to earn the DQ. What a coward!  Good match as the Brain Busters were among the best of their era. 

We close with Demolition vs. The Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji

This is from Wrestlemania 5, and I recently reviewed it on another Coliseum Home Video: 

 http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/wwe-network-wrestlings-superheroes/   

Final thoughts: This was a bit of a lazy release. I would have prefered more house show and dark matches instead of the PPV bouts. I suppose a fan at the time though may want to see the heavily hyped matches instead though. 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.